Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protests

What was kind of expected, the protesters took hold in Vancouver in the Coal Harbour and west end area this morning. Rebecca said there was coverage on TV of the action, and when Duane and I saw that the group was heading up Robson Street, we grabbed our cameras and ran out to get some shots.

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

I also shot video while walking behind the crowd. It was impromptu and shaky, but I think it captures some of the atmosphere.

You can see all of the photos I shot in this Flickr set.

People were following this crowd, picking up knocked over newspaper boxes this group of protesters were knocking over as they walked through the streets. The police asked the same man in the video above to cease this act for his own safety. Duane and I stopped following the group shortly after this point for our own safety as well.

Rebecca has a post up. Duane Storey, John Biehler, and Kris Krug all have coverage of this as well.

The high tech and the not so much of Vancouver 2010

This is something that has made me chuckle for a number of trips through the Olympic Village Station on the Canada Line. Located right around the corner from the entrance of the station is the Olympic Line streetcar, which is an amazing piece of technology and is, if I might say so, kinda sexy.

Olympic Line Media Preview

Pretty cool, right? But to let people coming out of the station know which direction to go to get to this marvelous piece of transit equipment, you get this dry erase board.

High-tech sign for Olympic Line at Olympic Village Station

Awesome!

It’s just something that makes you laugh a little bit when you think about everything else that has been put in place or built for the Olympics. They could have put some stickers on it or wrapped it with some fancy graphics or something. But no, just this dry erase board that, oddly enough, has never been tampered with.

And the only reason I mention it at all is because when you go towards the bridge, about 100 feet in the opposite direction, you see this.

Olympic Line Opening Day

This is too large to fit on the other sign at the entrance, but could easily be put on that other sign if shrunk down. Still, whatever works. Long live ghetto engineering.

Granville Street with new lights for the Olympics

Granville Street has been under construction for what seems like forever. Since about 2006, the downtown portion of Granville hasn’t been completely open as it once was. Getting close to the opening ceremonies for the 2010 games, these new lights have gone up all the way down the downtown core portion of the street.

Granville Street with new lights

I took this shot last night on my way home. Standing in the middle of Georgia and Granville, this is what it looks like at night, looking towards Waterfront. Not sure if the lights will stay up after the games, but they’re a nice touch.

Vancouver’s streetcar experiment: The Olympic Line

I’ve been watching this streetcar project come together for a while now, and in the past few weeks, the Olympic Line has off-loaded, all the way from Belgium.

Olympic Line Media Preview

Olympic Line Media Preview

Olympic Line Media Preview

Olympic Line Media Preview

Two trains and just a short stretch of track between Granville Island and Cambie Bridge along False Creek, this is only an experiment in mass transit that will only run just before and during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Meaning, if this works well and people take to it, perhaps the city will look into expanding streetcar service across the city.

Olympic Line Media Preview

Olympic Line Media Preview

Olympic Line Media Preview

It works in Toronto and certainly works in Europe, and I have to say that I like the concept so far. As to if this is the end all answer of all the transit problems in Vancouver, I don’t think so. Still, right step in an excellent direction.
Continue reading “Vancouver’s streetcar experiment: The Olympic Line”

Where will I be for Vancouver 2010?

Rebecca made a post the other day asking this question, and this past week has been littered with fleeting thoughts of, “holy crap, the games are actually here.”

BC Place staging tents

I decided to walk home after work the other night, and all of the telltale signs are here. Tents, banners, decorations, etc.

Fleet of official vehicles outside Olympic Village tent

For myself, it’s always been a goal in the back of my head to witness some form of Olympics games in someway. Moving to Vancouver in 2005, I knew my chance was going to be pretty good to get into the mix, but it’s actually here.

2010 is this year. We’ve been waiting for the date to read that way for what seems like forever, and now it’s actually upon us.

Olympic Village ready to go

The Olympic Village that I watched go from industrial wasteland to a tiny city is basically done.

Waterfront Canada Line Station by Miss604 on Flickr

I’ve been taking and loving the Canada Line during my daily work commutes.

Keeping out of BC Place

BC Place is still being kept under a shroud of mystery, and I still hope they blow the lid off that place during the opening ceremonies, someway and somehow.

This still doesn’t answer the question of where I will be once February 12th rolls around. The truth of the matter is that I love the Olympic games, and I always have. For as long as I can remember, I would stay up as late as I could to watch the coverage, no matter what the event.

I can remember L.A., Lillehammer, Albertville, Nagano, Soeul, Calgary, Atlanta, Sydney, Barcelona, Torino, Beijing, and Athens, and that’s all off the top of my head, no Google searches or Wikipedia trolling.

I haven’t forgotten about the politics on the local and worldwide scale. They are always there, and I can’t forget about the issues of homelessness in Vancouver nor the hefty price tag that has come with these games. Nothing I can say in a blog post could answer all of those problems, but I will be watching closely once everything is done to make sure those promises by VANOC are held accountable.

That being said, my hope and dream is to absorb the atmosphere that the games will bring upon Vancouver. I’m not sure where that might lead me, but we’ll ride the wave and end up where we end up. Be it total chaos to amazing opportunities, people, and new friends, I’ve been enlightened with stories by others who have been to games past. It prepares you as much as opens up avenues to all sorts of other questions.

I don’t know what to expect. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing nor when I’ll be doing it. It’s the surprise that I think I’m looking forward to the most. Never say never, let whatever happens happen, and hang on for the ride.

I’ll have my camera wherever I go, and the laptop won’t be far behind. Photos, video, audio, and blog posts doing their best to share what I see and do in the craziness that is downtown Vancouver, home of the 2010 winter games.

Thoughts on a Canada Line platform

Waterfront Canada Line Station by Miss604 on Flickr.com

Waterfront Canada Line Station by Miss604 on Flickr.com

It’s been nearly three weeks since the Canada Line has opened, and I keep thinking about how much it has changed my daily life every time I take it.

Sure, there might be a day when something goes wrong and the next train will take forever to show up that I’ll be reduced to the multi-bus commute to get to work (which has already happened but not on my watch), but accidents, mishaps, and generally bad days can and do happen.

I had a great experience riding the train home on the day of my first commute.

Standing at the platform, a co-worker walked down the stairs while I was waiting for the next train. I was heading downtown, and he was going to pop off into Yaletown. He doesn’t live around there but couldn’t pass up the chance to try it out.

We stood there talking about how he was using the opportunity to shop around Yaletown a little before going home, which I’m sure many businesses down there are hoping for more of, when someone else walked up to chat about how amazing this whole thing was.

“It’s so Vancouver. It looks great, works amazingly. I just love it.”

I couldn’t help but nod my head with the stranger while he sipped his frozen latte.

“I’m just so sick of all those people who say this is a waste of money. I wish those people would just go somewhere and die. Because you know, we need more of this. Out to the valley, to UBC, shut off those motors on the buses. It would be tremendous!”

This man was genuinely excited about this new form of transit, as crazy as that is to think about. But I had a very hard time disagreeing with him, minus the whole wishing people die thing.

A bad day at the station

In my time in radio, I’ve been apart of my fair share of absolute train wrecks. Those broadcasts that start off innocent but head straight down the drain. On the air, it all works out and everyone does their best to maintain some sort of professionalism so it looks like what happened was supposed to happen, but behind the scenes, everything has gone to shit.

Global BC’s noon newscast had that happen this past Monday, and they played this one off beautifully.

Dare I say, this video has a good chance of going viral

Midwest Summer Storms

This was published originally on Miss604.com as apart of Blogathon 2009.

Lightning

Hanging out at WorkSpace today for Blogathon, Rebecca snapped this great picture. It’s one of many, many streaks of lightning that filled the sky in the late afternoon, and these things aren’t that common. I don’t think I’ve seen a storm like that in about four years, which is when I moved here from eastern Iowa.

In the Midwest, you expect these things, and that’s because you have to.

As I watched the wall cloud come in over Mt. Seymour, that was a site that would strike a little fear into your gut as it came out of the horizon back home. What followed that was anyone’s guess. Intense wind to bust up trees, torrents of rain that could sweep your car off the road, baseball sized hail that would lead to cheap new car prices on damaged stock, or the ever friendly tornado that might knock on your door as an uninvited guest.

Watching the lightning zap the holy hell out of the mountains, it reminded me of those times when it was, “Get to the basement!” And it always seem like at that very moment, you’ve got to pee. The adrenaline kicks in and you do what you’ve been told over and over to do in school, but you still have this worst timing hit you at the same time.

That’s because tornadoes are pretty damn scary. They are additively fascinating to try and catch a glimpse of, but you just don’t want it to get too close because I’ve driven through towns that were ripped apart on a direct hit. I’ve grasped onto my mother under a blanket while the wind thumped against our house, sort of saying good-byes to each other through mutual I Iove yous.

That was one of my first times being on the radio when WMT called our house to speak to a witness. I barely had my nerves together enough to say my name correctly yet alone recount all the trees and power lines down in our neighborhood.

Everyone seems to have a personal story or knows a story of someone else with experiences like this. You can never be too careful when it comes to any storm, but the one that reached downtown today was fairly impressive in its own right. Like I said, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen something like that.


Photo credit: penmachine on Flickr

Signs of spring

When making the post previous to this one, I forgot about the group of photos that I shot early last week as well. This was a photowalk during a very amazing, early spring day here in Vancouver.

Spring Time in Stanley Park

Spring Time in Barclay Square

Spring Time in Stanley Park

Spring Time in Barclay Square

Spring Time in Barclay Square

Spring Time in Barclay Square

Spring Time in Barclay Square

See all the photos from this set on Flickr.